Foreign Language Student Anxiety and Expected Testing Method: Face-to-Face Versus Computer Mediated Testing
AuthorDohl, Cynthia Louise
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The evidence is overwhelming; affective factors, in particular anxiety, do affect students who are learning a second or foreign language. Foreign language anxiety can affect students' achievement and desire to continue their studies. Instructors want their students to succeed and want them to continue. Therefore, finding ways to reduce this anxiety is a key factor. Oral proficiency is the main goal for both students and instructors. The communicative approach is the main teaching focus. Therefore, testing for proficiency should be part of the curriculum. However, many professors do not test in this way, one of the reasons stated is that it can provoke anxiety in students.Numerous studies indicate that attitudes and beliefs toward language learning and testing can increase anxiety. A method that could reduce students' anxiety levels before they even take a test may help them achieve better results or at least lead to more relaxed attitudes toward these tests.This study gathered data on the anxiety levels of students who were told that they would be undergoing oral proficiency testing using either traditional face-to-face or computer mediated methods. Comparing these two groups, will the anxiety scores of universitystudents who believe that they will be tested for oral proficiency using synchronous( SCMC) and asynchronous (ACMC) computer mediated communication differ significantly from those who believe they will be tested using face-to-face interviews and classroom discourse? Will the level of the student be a significant factor?